Ford Backpedals; Says Trump Doesn’t Have to Wear a Mask During Tomorrow’s Visit
It's a 180-degree turn from the statement that they released earlier.
President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit a Ford Motor Company plant in Ypsilanti tomorrow; the plant has been temporarily converted into a facility that produces ventilators during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Ford restarted their vehicle production this week with strict PPE (personal protective equipment) rules and a 64-page "return-to-work" playbook, outlining safety policies including a mask policy: “Face masks are required to be worn by everyone, in all facilities, at all times.”
The tour was announced on Sunday; Ford released a statement saying that the White House had requested the visit and that it would welcome Trump “as part of Ford’s longstanding history of hosting sitting presidents.”
The President's visit actually violates an executive order put in place by Governor Gretchen Whitmer that prohibits "non-essential" plant visits. However, Whitmer's office has said that they won't stand in the way of the President's visit.
After the visit was announced, Ford said that they would require the President to wear a mask. “Our policy is that everyone wears PPE to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” a spokesperson told The Detroit Bureau. “We shared all of Ford’s safety protocols, including our manufacturing playbook, employee pamphlet and self-assessment survey with the White House ahead of time and in preparation for this trip.”
The President refused to wear a mask while visiting a mask-making factory in Arizona earlier this month.
In a statement on Tuesday, Trump said that he hadn't even "thought of" whether or not he'd wear a mask for tomorrow's visit.